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19% A New Beginning in a Mana Apocalypse / Chapter 18: Chapter 18 - Different Priorities

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Chapter 18: Chapter 18 - Different Priorities

Shortly after we finished eating Rebecca, Emily, and Heather with the baby who was finally introduced to me as Bryan, appeared followed by Marshal.

"How did you get here?" I asked surprised. Glendale was quiet the distance away.

"I called a cab." Marshal replied simply.

I stared at him stupidly for a moment before I shook my head. I had never thought that with everything that was happening, that anything would be functioning still, but for what reason wouldn't they? Everyone believed that the national guard and army were handling things, so as long as you weren't in the middle of a mutation outbreak or ran into a confrontation with a twisted, life continued on.

Calidia must have heard everyone arrive because she came out of her apartment a moment later and joined us. I pulled out food for everyone to eat then tried to relax but it was hard given the decor so we decided to move to another apartment. The new apartment was still messy and strewn with gaming equipment but it lacked the posters making Rebecca happy. Emily didn't really need to see those things.

"What now?" Marshal asked looking at me after he had finished eating.

I shrugged. "No idea." I replied. "As far as Calidia has said we have a few days until the next energy wave, which will be even worse than this one." I told them. Calidia nodded confirming what I said. "Nala is keeping watch for now, so I suggest we rest for now. It has been a long and complicated day. Take some time to adjust, most of us have powers we still need to get accustomed to. I think tomorrow, once we are rested we can discuss what we should do next." I told them.

Everyone else nodded then started to disperse. Megan and I were planning to stay in this apartment, Heather and Bryan would share with Calidia, while the Ritners would take the last apartment on the floor. No one wanted to stay in the apartment with the posters.

Once everyone was gone I looked over at Karen unsure what her plans were. I had been expecting Michael to show up at any moment to patch things up between them. He hadn't showed yet. Karen had a death grip on her phone her knuckles white. I had a bad feeling so I decided to do something I would never normally do. I reached out and took her phone away by force. While she struggled to get it back I was able to see that she had left it open with a single message on the screen. It was from Michael, 'Sorry.' One word and nothing else. I am sure there are all kinds of ways that could be interpreted, but seeing Karen's reaction I knew how she was taking it.

After struggling to get her phone back for a few moments she ended up in my arms. WIth Megan sitting right there I certainly didn't mean for anything to happen, but with her in my arms and obviously hurting I couldn't resist hugging her tightly. I glanced at Megan to see her reaction, she didn't seem to have a problem, instead she moved closer and wrapped her arms around both of us. I shifted so that both women were in my arms with Megan hugging Karen.

Karen went stiff in our arms but after a few moments she seemed to melt. She didn't cry again, just snuggled into Megan's arms.

"We should sleep together." Megan told me after a few more moments.

I froze as my brain initially pictured the best possible meaning to those words, before I realized what it was she actually meant. "You girls can share a bed, I can grab the couch." I replied nervously momentarily forgetting the fact that the apartment had two bedrooms.

"Daryl, Karen can use the support right now." Megan told me seriously.

"Megan, do you really think I will be able to sleep?" I asked just as seriously.

"I'm fine." Karen told us leaning into Megan chest. For a moment I was a bit jealous of her.

Megan was silent for a moment. "I want Karen to awaken." she told me.

I stared at her in surprise for a while. I knew how Megan had awakened, and never thought she would suggest I do the same for Karen. She had always seemed the selfish possessive type.

"Not like that!" Megan scoffed blushing. "I talked with Calidia about ways to awaken and the bonds while we were in the truck. Sharing the same bed is intimate enough to share some of your mana with Karen and hopefully awaken her. It would create a intimate bond between you, but it would be a lot weaker than ours." she explained her face continuing to redden as she did.

I understood a bit better, but still wasn't big on the idea. I had some plans for that bed and Megan, the presence of Karen would make that impossible. Including Karen was an option of course, but I had my doubts about Megan being alright with that, besides I didn't want to be a rebound guy.

Before I could say anything shouting outside interrupted my train of thoughts. I hurried to the door and looked outside worried that there was an attack and wondering why Nala hadn't said anything.

'Not an attack, just idiots.' Nala replied sounding a bit sleepy.

Marshal and Rebecca were facing off in the hallway while Emily kneeled against the wall hugging her knees while watching her parents yell at each other.

I didn't catch what they were saying, they stopped yelling as soon as my door opened. The pair of them stared at me with wide eyes, embarrassed and a little scared.

"Emily." I called down to the little girl. "Karen is feeling a bit sad, you want to help cheer her up?" I asked.

Emily was on her feet and dashed past me fast enough to wonder if she had awakened after all.

With the child in a safe out of the way place I stepped into the hallway and closed the door behind me. I wasn't a mediator, never wanted to be, but if it was bad enough that they were willing to ignore their daughter I should hear it out. Even though it was unlikely I could help, I might be able to avoid them continuing to yell in the hallway keeping the rest of us awake.

"So what is the problem?" I asked tiredly.

The husband and wife glanced at each other for a moment hesitating, "I need to go." Marshal told me after a moment.

I frowned then glanced down the hallway, like many apartments in the Phoenix area it wasn't enclosed but open to the outside. While I couldn't see the sun, I could tell it was starting to get dark, that on top of his very recent return, leaving didn't make sense to me.

"You just got back." I stated.

Marshal nodded then hesitated to continue.

"His girlfriend called." Rebecca told me.

I admit I was a bit surprised, then again, this morning Rebecca had been an overweight woman with as little interest in working out as I had, while Marshal lived at the gym. While not an insurmountable issue, many marriages had broken from less.

"Is she important enough to leave behind your wife and daughter?" I asked cruelly.

"You're here." he defended.

"So?" I asked looking him straight in the eye. "I have Megan, she is my first priority above all others. Not your wife and daughter." I reminded him stressing the word daughter.

Marshal looked conflicted for a moment then nodded, "I have to go." he told me then left.

Rebecca watched him leave then leaned against the wall and started to sob.

I felt bad for her, but I had no idea what to do to help her. The affair must have been going on for a while, or the other woman was someone he had been close too before, for him to leave Emily like that. If it had been a casual thing I doubted he would be willing to continue it now that Rebecca had awakened her body ability. It had given her a motherly feel with her wide hips, thin waist, and large bust.

"If he decides to come back, we can see how she likes the idea that he nearly abandoned her in this world." I told Rebecca, it might be mean but I didn't approve of cheaters. My father's bed hopping had cost me a very happy home, more than once.

The door to the apartment opened revealing Karen, with Megan a bit farther back holding Emily in her arms.

"Come in." Karen told Rebecca softly.

Rebecca looked over at her for a moment then nodded and followed her into the apartment.

I followed them in but the women had all gathered in the living room talking quietly with each other. I sighed as I realized that my chances of alone time with Megan tonight were zero.

I walked over and gave Megan a kiss on the forehead. "I am going to grab some sleep." I told her.

"Already?" Megan asked surprised.

"With everything that has happened today, I am exhausted." I reminded her.

"I will join you later." Megan told me.

I nodded then patted Rebecca on the shoulder and gave Emily a quick hug before finding the bedroom with the biggest bed, stripping down to my boxers and lying down.

I drifted off to sleep for a few moments until the bedroom door opened. A few moments later a warm body appeared in the bed beside me snuggling up into my arms. I felt a lot of bare skin before a pair of lips pressed against my own briefly.

"Get some sleep." Megan told me then twisted around so her back pressed into my chest my arms wrapped around her waist.

A second later another warm body pressed up against my back. I twisted my head to see Karen behind me. "Sleep." she told me pressing against my back. I worried that I wouldn't be able to as Karen seemed to be as bare as Megan.

'Sleep master, they have no interest in mating tonight.' Nala told me in my head.

I have no idea if that message helped, or I was just that tired, but moments later I was out.


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